• IT’S A GAS

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    mazda cx520131008Mazda’s CX-5 sport-ute is stingy only when it comes to fuel consumption, not in dishing out looks and performance

    THE concoction of the usual SUV is based on two out of these three capabilities; fuel economy, maximum usage and driveability. Mixing all three together is like trying to blend water and oil. However, the Mazda CX-5 2.5L AWD Sport manages to combine all three perfectly.

    After taking the car on my own series of tests, I am not surprised why even the 4×2 variant was hailed as Japan Car of the Year for 2012-2013.

    The way I see it, the CX-5 is an alpha male beast, standing proudly in the wilderness. Its stance is high enough that body roll when cornering is noticeable, but not too much. Driving it around and outside the Metro, it seems that the faster it goes, the less fuel it consumes.

    This is because the CX-5’s gas pedal has two levels. The first is to pick up speed, which requires more fuel, while the other—activated when you push it further—provides additional boost thanks to the vehicle’s SkyActiv technology.

    I, along with some loved ones, experienced the CX-5’s superb fuel efficiency when we drove it down south, opting not to take the usual route going to Nuvali. Instead of taking the Santa Rosa exit at Slex, we took the longer way. Traffic jams, tight streets and heavy rains should have guzzled much of the contents of the fuel tank but these factors failed in doing so.

    A key feature that makes the CX-5 fuel efficient is its intelligent iStop system, which idles the engine by switching it off automatically when the car comes to a complete stop. The feature comes with the SkyActiv system, which is complemented by a six-speed automatic transmission that is mated to a 2.5-liter engine dishing out 185 horsepower at 5,700rpm and 250 Newton-meter of torque 4,000rpm. This gives passengers the “zoom-zoom” driving experience.

    The SkyActiv-Drive really made the CX-5 very responsive to throttle inputs, providing smooth, steady acceleration and quick bursts of speed.

    In terms of aesthetics, Mazda’s “Kodo – Soul of Motion” design language present in the vehicle’s interior and exterior styling, along with multimedia functionality, makes the CX-5 a compelling choice for customers considering a sport-ute. The CX-5’s leather upholstery and door trim further provide sophistication while its 19-inch alloy rims promote a sporty look. I also had more time keeping my eyes on the road than on the dashboard panel as I could access saved music, phone calls and other functions through voice recognition, thanks to the console’s Bluetooth connectivity.

    The price for all these? P1.685 million for the CX-5 2.5L AWD Sport, which is imported from Japan. That’s pretty reasonable considering all the perks it offers.

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